Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: toolstation

Building the Shed Base

On Thursday, I took an afternoon off work to receive delivery of an 8ft x 6ft tongue-and-groove shed. This’ll be used for self-storage of items that are currently cluttering my home so, I’m more than happy to spend an initial outlay, as opposed to endlessly paying monthly rental fees at a large warehouse chain. I’m fortunate enough to have been granted a space away from my own home on which to erect this small garden building.

In this post, I’ll document the process of building a sturdy sub-base for the shed to sit on. I’ll emphasise now that this was designed with the word temporary in mind (there’s every chance it could have to move in a couple of years). If you plan on building a base for your decking, you may also find this very interesting.

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Scruffs by Name…

A brief post to say that I recently bought a new pair of safety boots for my day job and how impressed I’ve been with them so far.

My new safety boots!

Over the last decade, I’ve come to instantly dislike the ‘cheap, generic’ boots that almost any employer will provide you with on your first day. They were so uncomfortable that I decided to shop around and to start buying my own. I decided I liked the trainer-style of shoe and, after reading a group test review in Good Woodworking magazine, I went for a pair of Makita Hiker boots (yes, there is now irony in that name) and they turned out to be extremely comfortable (after the initial blisters of a busy customer service role in the middle of the summer).

As it happened, Makita footwear were actually made by Dickies and so, the following year, I decided to try a pair of their own (I dislike repetition). These weren’t too bad but I wasn’t as satisfied either and so, I went through a couple more pairs of Dickies boots (three or four in total) before we go back to May 2012, when I popped in to Toolstation and picked up a pair of Black Rock boots for only £25…

They weren’t quite the cheapest boots I’d purchased but they quickly became uncomfortable. They also had those knife-like metal buckles that eventually slice through your laces as you pull them up and I only really stuck with them until a few weeks ago because I’d invested in a pair of insoles – again, that was a trial-and-error experiment in itself; quickly realising that a cheap pair weren’t worth the pain and that you safe find greater comfort with an increase in expenditure.

Insoles? More like ar...

Insoles? More like ar…

This year, I was very tempted to return to those faithful old Makitas (now about £10 dearer than they were a year ago) but I didn’t find anything ‘inspiring’ amongst the current Dickies range and somehow (through a general eBay search, I think), I was reminded of the Scruffs brand. After which, I eventually narrowed my selection down to the Lightning II boots at a very reasonable £25 (thanks to eBay).

I could feel the comfort from day one. You can feel the cushioned insoles far ahead of the smooth floor and they’re also arched nicely in the middle to support your feet properly. Laces tighten up nicely, the tongues are big and soft and I think they look good as well!

Thanks for reading and please don’t settle for sore feet in any area of your life! 🙂

The P-Word

This is actually a subject I discuss briefly at the introduction to my latest YouTube video. It’s fair to say that you will quickly come to learn how I feel about painting and why it took me five-months to complete the laminated capping rail for our T&G gate… Oddly enough, I’ve spent the afternoon undercoating my hands a glossy white as we’ve been partitioning off a new section of the shop floor ready for the installation of two new metal cutting machines (it has been nice to be able to put of some stud walls and drill holes in the concrete floor, even if I’m not too satisfied with some of the gaps around my own joints, mostly cut on the bandsaw as well…).

We moved in to our current house back in 2004, not long after Christmas and, within days of moving in (in fact, it might have been the day itself), a now-ex-neighbour pointed out that flakes of white paint were

Peeling Paint

ing off from under the eaves at the front of the house, surrounding the large bay window. It’s a project that’s been on my mind for so long. It’d been glaring at me each day I arrived home. Even when I lived elsewhere, it became unmissable, with each and every family visit. I don’t know what possessed me but I finally got up there to tackle it, last weekend.

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Toolmaker

In case you don’t follow me on Keek, I’ll try to keep this brief… I got up on Sunday morning with a view to replacing the fence posts after repairing and reassembling the panel (as you saw in my previous post). For this, I would need a sledge hammer. Not owning one and knowing that, if I did buy one, I might not use it again for a very long time; I turned to Freecycle for some assistance, asking whether anyone might be inclined to lend me one for the weekend. No such offers came in, until I received an e-mail from a woman who offered me a head without a handle. As a woodorker though, that didn’t seem like much of a problem! 😉

Sledge hammer with a bespoke handle, wedged in to place.

That was my thinking when I collected the lump on Friday afternoon. By the time Sunday came around, I decided that I wanted to get the job done and headed to Toolstation to buy a handle (along with some other bits I needed) in an effort to save myself some time. That didn’t fit and I would end up making one from scratch, which did occupy my time until lunch.

There’s a video of this whole process below and, underneath that, you’ll find photos and details of another ‘agricultural’ tool that I made yesterday.

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Down the Pan…

This very morning, I was expecting to be driving in to the city of Bristol in order to collect a pack of 1¼in long coarse-thread pocket hole screws with washer heads, so that I could join some 18mm MDF later on today (I’m planning to make a short rip fence for my saw bench). A quick Google search yesterday afternoon to determine the store location revealed that they ceased trading at the beginning of February!

Pan Tools in Bedminster – sadly, no longer trading.

We’re talking about Pan Tools; a name that’s been synonymous with power tool purchases in this city for several years.

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Wiring Up

Believe it or not, I’ll have another video for you soon on some ‘modifications’ I’ve been making to my workbench! 😯 While I was waiting for glue to dry at one part though, I got on a wired-in the new DOL Starter I bought for my 6in planer (jointer), as I alluded to at the end of my mobile base video.

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Rusted Ring Latches

Anyone who payed close attention to my Side Gate project a few months ago may remember that I chose to trim a good 40mm (1½in) off the length of the ring latch that was fitted to secure the gate in its closed position. This was purely for visual aesthetics from the outside; I didn’t want the latch to interfere with the ‘line’ between two of the vertical boards…

While, the gate is still awaiting its second coat of paint (!!), it wasn’t at all long after fitting the gate furniture that our old nemesis oxidisation made an unwelcome appearance!

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Picket Planters (Part 4)

Remember that video series I started on making a pair of Picket Planters? Yeah, that was some time ago, back in the summer, now… After Part 3, I just sort of trailed off, couldn’t find the time to sit down and edit the outstanding [quantity, not quality!!] video clips on my computer. So, it’s been a very long while but, I am relieved to reveal that the fourth instalment in this series is now available for your viewing pleasure:

In this episode, I assemble both of the end frames, in preparation for a larger glue-up, next time.

Actually, it went live last night so, I apologise for the delay in bringing this information to your attention, if you weren’t already aware. There’s plenty of footage available for Part 5 and, as much as I’m hoping I’ll be able to wrap this series up with that, I can almost clearly see a sixth part to this on-going tale just over the horizon!

If the video isn’t working for you hear, please try clicking this link, which will take you directly to the page on YouTube.

Thank you for watching.

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